The nation yesterday observed the National Mourning Day marking the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a call to bring back his fugitive killers and execute them.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid glowing tributes to the father of the nation at Bangabandhu Bhaban on Road 32 in Dhanmondi by placing wreaths in the first hour of the day as part of the state programmes.
After placing the wreaths at 6:32am, they stood in solemn silence there for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of Bangabandhu and the martyrs of August 15.
A contingent of the Armed Forces gave a state salute and bugle played the last post.
Later, prayers were offered seeking eternal peace for Bangabandhu and the other martyrs.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain, cabinet members, chiefs of three services and senior leaders of ruling Awami League and 14-party combine were present.
After paying tribute as the president of AL at the portrait of Bangabandhu along with her party leaders, Hasina and her family members visited Banani Graveyard and paid homage to her mother Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib, her brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell and other martyrs.
The daughter of Bangabandhu later went to Tungipara to pay homage to her father. After placing a wreath at the grave, she offered fateha and joined special munajat seeking eternal peace of the departed soul of Bangabandhu and other martyrs.
The premier stood there in solemn silence for some time with tears rolling down her eyes.
The chiefs of the three services also gave salute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Speaker placed wreaths at the grave of Bangabandhu followed by the central leaders of AL. The ruling party's different associated bodies and several socio-political organisations also placed floral wreaths there.
After coming from Tungipara, Hasina joined a special prayer organised by Mohila Awami League on Road 32 in Dhanmondi. The PM and her daughter Saima Wazed Hossain spent an hour inside the room of Bangabandhu Bhaban where the father of the nation used to live, and recited from the holy Quran.
After offering Maghrib prayers there, Hasina left for Gono Bhaban. The daughter of Bangabandhu fasted yesterday to mourn the brutal assassination of her family members.
Elaborate programmes were chalked out by the government as well as different political parties and other sociocultural organisations to observe the day.
On this day in 1975, Bangabandhu and most of his family members were killed at his house by a group of disgruntled army officers as part of a long-running conspiracy of the anti-liberation forces.
Bangabandhu's two daughters -- Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana -- escaped the gruesome assassination as they were in Germany at that time.
The national flag flew at half-mast at all government, semi-government, autonomous offices, education institutions and Bangladesh missions abroad.
State-run Bangladesh Betar, BTV and different television channels broadcast special programmes while newspapers brought out special supplements marking the day.
The AL and its different associated bodies organised “food for destitute” programmes across the country. Bangabandhu's important speeches and patriotic songs were played through loudspeakers.
Black billboards, banners and posters were placed at different key points in the capital and other major cities, districts and upazila headquarters with slogans on Bangabandhu.
AL men across the country wore black badges as a symbol of mourning. Some top AL leaders including central Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif criticised BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for celebrating her “false” birthday on the National Mourning Day.
They also held BNP founder Ziaur Rahman responsible for the assassination of the great leader of Bangladesh.
AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam claimed the USA and Canada had been playing a 'double-standard policy' in sending back Bangabandhu's absconding killers.
In reply to a question of journalists in Tungipara, he said diplomatic efforts sometimes took time and expressed the hope that the killers would be brought back and executed in time.
AL presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim sought the UN's cooperation to extradite the fugitive convicts to Bangladesh.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Border Guard Bangladesh, Dhaka University, National University, Dhaka South City Corporation, Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Awami Jubo League, and Amra Muktijuddhar Santan, among other organisations, observed the day.
Mahanagar Sarbojaneen Puja Committee offered special prayers for the salvation of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his family members.